The Power Line Upgrade Group (PLUG) of Narrikup residents was formed to investigate the affect of Western Power's proposed transmission lines on landholders in the narrow strip of land between Albany Highway and the Hay/Sheepwash National Park to the west.
The group believes the community consultation process by Western Power has been inadequate and is creating anxiety with residents over issues such as aesthetics, land values, destruction of land conservation works, potential subdivision processes. The end result will be to pit neighbour against neighbour as they seek individually negotiated outcomes.
PLUG CORE VALUES
To achieve social and environmental equity through accountability, fairness, transparency and honesty.
- Encourage Grange Resources to choose the most appropriate route, effecting the lest amount of landholders, using the shortest route possible. This variable is creating the uncertainty.
- If the new line must go ahead, limit size to 132Kv pole line alongside existing wood pole line Kojonup to Albany. Due for renewal in 2015 on. The easement is already in place. This line will give a 5 year period to consider alternatives.
- Investigate alternative power generation potential in Great southern to supply anticipated needs from 2013 on. Eg biomass, wind, gas; with particular reference to the inefficiencies of transporting coal derived power over the distances indicated. Especially relevant with the global climate change debate.
- If a new line is essential then the route needs to be assessed with land values and conservation criteria as the main issues.
- Revisit corridor selection process. In depth selection of local representatives to participate in process. The process will involve disputation between neighbours. Training in negotiation and conflict resolution essential.
- Western Power to fund an independent Social Impact Study as part of
the environmental and agricultural impact study (eg CENRM, UWA).
- Investigate annuity payment by WP for easement rental of private Freehold land for business purposes, ie the transmission of an economic service.
- Recognition and compensation for land devalued by the powerline route by an independent evaluator. The many small holdings affected are part of investment portfolios held by owners as superannuation assets.